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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 18799
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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Hi, My dog is a pit/boxer mix named Duchess. She is about

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My dog is a pit/boxer mix named Duchess. She is about 5 years old. She is 63 days pregnant. On day 60 I broke down and took her temp for the first time. This is her second litter and her first litter was at about 1 1/2 years old.

Day 60-When i took her temp at 930pm she was at 99.9, then [email protected]
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What is going on??? Ive been so confused! I keep reading conflicting info about the temp ranges and whether or not the low temp should be stable. I thought after that drop to 98.2 at 6am on day 61 that she was probably going into stage 1. Shes been grooming and sleeping a ton. There is lots of fetal movement. Her first litter was 12 pups all born with no complications and no deaths at any time during or after. But ive started scouring the net for more info and people are mentioning huge fluxes like that = still births. Should i be concerned? She is still eating but not much the last few days. No nesting. Milk when i stimulated her a bit ago to check.

Hi Sir or Madam,
My name is Jane. I have been working professionally with animals especially dogs in both health and behavioral issues for over 18 years. I have over 14,000 satisfied customers. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.
In order to supply you with the best information, I do need to ask for some additional information. Once I receive your answer, it will likely take me about 30-45 minutes to type up your response. I hope you can be patient.
When was her first mating this last heat cycle?
Has it been 63 days since that first mating?
Are you using an accurate thermometer?
Has she had any discharge from the vulva?
Any grass eating or vomiting bile?
Any diarrhea or small frequent bowel movement?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It was 8/2/13. The thermometer is accurate. Based on everything i know she is at day 63. No vomiting, eating grass, or runny bowels.

Tara,.Thanks for the additional information. Taking the temperature is an accurate way of determining when the dog will have their pups. However, the temperature stays down for about 12-24 hours. It is one reason why we recommend you take the temperature twice a day once the due date arrives. If the temperature does fall below 99F then take the temperature again an hour or so later to ensure it was an accurate reading. Several things can affect the temperature and result in a slightly lower temperature. These would include not have the thermometer inserted an inch or so and not keeping it inserted long enough..Traditionally my dogs drop to about 98.2 or 98.3F in the 24 hours before labor starts. Let me go over the labor process even though I know you have been through delivery before. There are three stages to labor. During the first stage the cervix dilates and contractions begin. Your female will be uncomfortable, restless, pace and pant. This lasts 6-18 hours. During the second part of labor, your female's contractions begin in earnest. Her water breaks and puppies are delivered usually after 10-30 minutes of pushing. All puppies are born during this stage. The third stage of labor is after all pups have been delivered and is when a dog still has small contractions to expel fluids and/or placentas from the uterus.

You can read more about this here:


A dog’s normal temperature is between 101-102.5F degrees. Her temperature may rise and fall during this time, but once her temperature falls below 99 degrees and stays down for 12 hours or so, she should go into labor in the next 24 hours. The temperature drop is due to a reduction in serum progesterone levels and signals that the dog will start labor within 24 hours.

You can read about this at:


You may also notice her breasts swelling during this last week of pregnancy and some milk leakage which I understand you have seen. Dogs will usually become restless and increase their digging and nesting behavior during the last week. You will notice an increase in her panting as well as a mucous discharge. You didn't let me know if you saw any vaginal discharge or not. You may also notice some abdominal contractions or rippling as her time grows closer. Do not be surprised if your dog is very restless and vomits as few times during this last week.


Once your dog's temperature has dropped, please do not leave her alone in case of complications. As she enters actual labor you should be able to see her contractions and most dogs will begin looking at their hindquarters. An increase of licking of the genitals is normal before and during labor. Be sure and have an emergency Vet’s phone number readily available just in case of an emergency during the birthing of the puppies.

Here is an excellent site about whelping.


Some other signs that my dogs always seem to exhibit are lack of appetite, frequent urination and frequent small, runny bowel movements in the day before labor starts. Frequently my dogs will start looking at their rears when the first real contractions start.


Traditionally until your girl is 7 days over (day 70) we don't worry too much and at that point you would want to have her seen by your vet and discuss inducing labor. The reason we don't worry about her being late is because a dog's sperm can live up to five days or so inside the female before fertilizing an egg. So while the mating may have been 63 days ago, the actual fertilization may have been a few days later.


Also you should be able to feel pups moving around inside her. Put her on her side and feel her abdomen between her ribs and her hind leg about 7-8 inches down from the spine. Just rest your open hand on this area and you should feel some movement or kicks. this will have ensure that she did become pregnant.


However, dogs can experience false pregnancy where they gain weight, develop breast and even adopt pups when they would have had pups but aren't actually pregnant. Since she has bred before though, I would expect her to have become pregnant if a successful tie was observed.


If she had miscarried before now, you would have seen a discharge at one point of another that was bloody or dark, so I wouldn't worry too much about that.


I hope this information is helpful to you and you are satisfied with my response. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have .

Jane Lefler and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Tara,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Duchess. How is everything going?

Jane Lefler

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